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Residents of Florida are required by law to insure their vehicles. It is mandatory to purchase both property damage liability (PDL) insurance and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In this article, you will get more insights about Florida’s car insurance requirements, insurance rates, premium costs and how to get the best insurance quotes.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
If you are involved in an accident and you are injured, your car insurance will pay your hospital medical bills up to the state policy limits regardless of who caused that accident. Florida car insurance offers the following coverage limits:
- A minimum of $10,000 for PIP insurance
- A minimum of $10,000 for PDL insurance.
Personal Injury Protection
In addition to covering your hospital bills resulting from an accident that your car involved in, PIP insurance will also cover:
- Other members of your household including your children
- Your children when using a school bus
- You (if you are hit by a vehicle when walking on the pedestrian or when cycling and you get involved in an accident).
- Covers passengers in your car without Personal Injury Protection insurance.
If your car is involved in accident, its victims will get cover from your car’s PIP insurance or from their own PIP insurance.
Property Damage Liability
Florida’s Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance covers the cost of damages that you incur, when your car is involved in an accident that destroys other people’s properties.
Violation Penalties and Fines
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in Florida is the body that administers car insurance matters. Your Florida car insurance company is required to notify this department if they cancel your insurance policy. This is done electronically. The DHSMV will then notify you through email giving you a date of suspension. You are then required to provide a proof of car insurance before the suspension date. If you fail to comply with their requirement then your driver’s license, registration and plates will be suspended. If you appeal to the decision and you want all these documents to be reinstated, you will have to provide proof of new insurance cover and pay a fee of:
- $150 for your first offense
- $250 for your second offense
- $500 for each offense after.
If you are able to provide proof of car insurance before the suspension date, you will not be penalized or required to pay above fees. Proof of car insurance can be provided through:
- In person at a driver license office
- Online at the DHSMV website
- By phone at (850) 617-2000.
If you no longer own the car or if you want to use the car seasonally at your home, surrender registration and plates to the nearby DHSMV to avoid suspension of your driver’s license.
Optional Car Insurance in Florida
Optional Florida Car Insurances are insurance covers that may help you cover other unexpected costs resulting from accidents involving your car. These include:
- Comprehensive – Covers all damages to your car not necessarily caused by accidents.
- Collision – Coverage that helps cover damages to your car as a result of accident
- Uninsured/underinsured – These types of vehicle insurance provide cover to drivers who don’t have car insurance or inadequate car insurance
- Rental car coverage
- Towing and labor
NOTE: While collision and comprehensive coverage policies are not mandatory in Florida, these two are required by your bank or lender if you are intending to finance your car using a loan.
Bodily Injury Liability
One of the major reasons why no-fault car insurance is required, is to protect Florida drivers from prosecution if they cause an accident. However, if accident victims get fatal injuries, a driver can be sued and if found guilty he will be required to pay for the injuries caused. You can get a Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) insurance to help you cover the cost of injuries during this circumstance. BIL car insurance can also help you pay the fees or an attorney if you are sued and you are looking for representation.
Insurance Penalties: FR-44 and SR-22
If you had violated certain traffic rules or had been in an accident, you may be required to purchase additional car insurance: either FR-44 or SR-22.
SR-22 in Florida
Certain traffic violations may require you to produce an SR-22 certification when you are stopped by a traffic officer. This document shows that you have purchased BIL insurance on top of the Florida car insurance policy. SR-22 will have to be carried for three years if:
- You had a car accident that damaged properties and caused injuries.
- You have had excessive traffic violation that led to your driver’s license suspension.
- Your driver’s license has been habitually revoked.
In Florida, if you are found guilty of driving without car insurance, the courts may compel you to carry SR-22 certification for up to two years. This certification is non-cancellable for the first 6 months, and it requires you to pay the total insurance premium up front every time you renew your insurance policy.
FR-44 in Florida
In Florida, if you are convicted of Driving under the influence of a substance, you may be required to purchase additional insurance and carry FR-44 certification to show proof of that coverage. This certification is required if the driver didn’t have the following amount of coverage at the time of arrest:
- $100,000 for injuries to any one person
- $300,000 for injuries to all people in one accident
- $50,000 for property damage liability (PDL).
The Most Stolen Cars in Florida
According to 2013 report from www.nicb.org, the following is a list of automobiles that are targeted for theft in Florida:
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda Civic and Honda Accord
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Nissan Maxima
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- Dodge Caravan.